Last month I talked about the branding of Boulder City and how the “World Away for a Day” might be a little misleading and limiting.
So what should the brand of Boulder City be? I think Boulder City has so many attractions, it’s going to be hard to put them all under one slogan. Let’s outline the different audiences that Boulder City attracts or could attract.
Antiques immediately comes to mind because of all the antique stores, thrift shops and eclectic retail in town. And antiques are a great segment. Lots of people love to go antiquing, and it feeds into all the other things we have to offer in Boulder City.
Nevada doesn’t have much in the way of history tourism, but Boulder City is a centerpiece for that genre.
The construction of Hoover Dam was a minor miracle in the 1930s, and the heroic stories of the workers, designers and supporters is a major reason why our town attracts visitors who have even a fleeting interest in history.
Special events are another big draw. Starting with the October Art in the Park, which attracts more than 100,000 people to town, we have many other events that put our town on the map.
Art in the Park is renowned among artists in the Southwest as one of the premier events to showcase their talents and masterpieces.
The Dam Short Film Festival brings people to town for an entire week in the winter, helping the hotels, motels, restaurants and bars in town. Again, it’s one of the signature events for this peculiar genre of film and recognized across that industry.
The July 4th Damboree celebration has been around for more than 70 years. The Christmas parade is broadcast across Clark County and is one of the most endearing events of the year. The Best Dam Barbecue Challenge is a professional event held every year and another event recognized nationally.
And, of course, us locals love the Spring Jamboree and the Spring Fine Arts Festival. They don’t draw lots of visitors, but we like them.
Boulder City is a center for adventure tourism. From Bootleg Canyon mountain bikes, the zip line and the excursions to Lake Mead — fishing, sailing and powerboats — and the Colorado River, Boulder City is front and center for those willing to push themselves to the edge.
One area that Boulder City could become more well-known is music. With the many bars and restaurants that feature live music, in addition to the great venues that could expand their offerings — imagine monthly concerts at the Boulder Theatre — our town could become a mecca for live entertainment.
Whether it’s a blues festival, a jazz gathering or a focus on some other genre, Boulder City can lay claim to great live music either for a weekend or the ongoing appearances of musicians across the town.
And how about golf? The fun municipal course is great for duffers like me. Boulder Creek is an amazing challenge that already has fans across the valley and around the country. And the breathtaking Cascata is probably my favorite course in the state with its dramatic views and elevation changes. Could we do more to take advantage of these assets? Of course we can.
If we ever resolve the issue of a new pool, Boulder City could become a swimming mecca.
With the great swimming program that has developed world-class athletes, a first-class pool complex in Boulder City could host events that would draw hundreds of people to town on a semiregular basis.
We’ve got some great assets in Boulder City, and they each have their own particular audience. Does that mean that we can’t develop a slogan or a mission statement that encompasses them all? Of course not; we can figure out what works for every enterprise in town with feedback from everyone.
Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, the principal trade publication for the casino industry, and a 10-plus-year resident of Boulder City.